When Jeff McKenna was first attending college, he was initially headed toward a business degree. As his educational experiences were progressing so were McKenna’s ideals and career choices. After talking with several lawyers in Las Vegas, where he grew up, he decided to go into law.

McKenna didn’t know then that he and his partners would be celebrating 20 years of doing it their way now, but what a great ride it has been for them all; he loves what he does and can’t imagine doing anything else.

McKenna found that he wasn’t passionate about dealing with large business, corporations and the impersonal experiences of it all. What he did become passionate about is working one on one with people. When he entered law school McKenna didn’t want to be a lawyer who tried cases or even dealt with being in the courtroom, he enjoyed helping families and individuals and wanted to learn the laws of Estate Planning; he has spent almost his entire legal career, twenty three years, in that area including Elder Law.

McKenna says that when fresh out of law school in the first year of practice “You do what the partners want you to do.” That entailed some trial work, he was a prosecutor for Colorado City; the firm he worked for at that time was the City Attorney’s Office for Colorado City. McKenna has also served as past President of the Southern Utah Estate Planning Counsel and was a past President of the Mesquite Exchange Club.

Once McKenna was able to begin focusing on the Estate Planning side of things in that firm, he became quite happy with what he was doing but he had a friend who had an itch.

Daren Barney was a different kind of an attorney and a good friend. Barney and McKenna worked for different firms and in very different areas of the law. Where McKenna didn’t much like the business end of the law, Barney was all over it.

Barney’s focus has been in real estate transactions, business, construction, banking and mediation/arbitration but he wasn’t content working for “another firm.” Barney wanted something of his own and he wanted his friend to be his partner.

It took a bit to convince McKenna to make the move but finally in 1999 it happened; Barney McKenna, Attorneys at Law was founded. The firm specialized in Business and Estate Planning in Southern Utah, Nevada and Arizona; the original office was opened in St. George, UT with subsequent offices having opened in both Mesquite and Hurricane, Utah. Barney was also the mayor of Ivins for eight years.

The original partners took on a third; when Eric Olmstead joined, he brought with him 20 years of experience in civil litigation, employment law, business law and real estate development in both Utah and the San Francisco Bay area. Olmstead has lectured on labor relations and construction law topics for private groups, trade organizations and the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

Along with its team of highly qualified attorneys, the law firm of Barney, McKenna & Olmstead specializes in business and estate planning. The firm can also handle any civil litigation that arises from these areas of law including estate and trust disputes as well as elder law, guardianships and conservatorships, adoptions, employment and labor law issues, real estate development and bankruptcies in Utah, Arizona and Nevada.

The firm has the highest peer rating for ethical standards and legal ability and were nominated Best of Southern Utah in both estate planning and for overall law firm this year.

The entire firm celebrated its 20-year anniversary with a huge BBQ Blowout at the home of one of the Utah employees. The group ate, laughed and had a corn hole tournament then went on to Tuacahn to enjoy a show like one big happy family, and they are. Paralegals, Legal Assistants, Lawyers and office support staff are happy working together and there’s a comfortable ease when you enter the offices. Expertise is generously shared with other staff members to ensure that all staff is as knowledgeable as they want to be or are capable of being. The partners and other members of the firm believe in people working their way up to be the best they can be and learn as much as they’d like to in whatever areas are of interest to them; success comes from doing what you love to do and are passionate about.

Barney, McKenna & Olmstead associates don’t just believe in sharing knowledge with one another, they believe in sharing with the community and have published articles for years to help educate people on important legal issues and now they’re offering free seminars every third Thursday in estate planning, wills and trusts.

They feel that these are important classes for the community because in more than 30 years of practice, they’ve never seen two identical cases, no “average” family or estate. With so many variables in estate planning, they want the community to be as well informed as they can be, and they don’t expect everyone to have to pay for some basic but very important knowledge. They promise never to call you or use those classes for solicitation purposes.

Currently the classes are being held every third Thursday in St. George and Hurricane but they’re working on making them happen in Mesquite as well. St. George classes are offered at the law offices located at 43 South 100 East.

For more information on Barney, McKenna & Olmstead visit their website www.barney-mckenna.com. To RSVP and take advantage of some extremely valuable information in the free seminars on estate planning, call 435-628-1711 or email frontdesk@barney-mckenna.com